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The vine leaves took some time to grow after this winter but they are here now, ready to be picked and used for stuffed vine leaves.

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We could not use a lot of roses for the 1st of May wreaths but they are blooming now!

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…insects. Arriving exactly on the same day as last year, this beauty basked in yesterday’s beautiful afternoon sunlight. One hopes that its mission was to clear any nuisance Arthropods from its near-garden environment.

Though its enemies include humans, cats, birds of prey and maybe a snake or two, we hope that this one (could it the same one as last year? Better get the book!) sticks around long enough to be observed again. Always impressive.

We saw the carcass of a similar Balkan Green Lizard in another part of the island last spring, the victim of a cat.

Camphill PosterSaturday night’s evening of music, dance, food and wine in aid of the Camphill Skopelos project raised an impressive €1,750, which will go towards the development of the special needs centre planned for Alikias. The organizers are hoping to lure students from a mainland architecture school into taking it on as a special project. We are also beginning to hear distant rumbles about an international barbecue-by-Skype on the Alikias site this summer, with links to support groups around the world. More on that as it develops.

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Hellas Speed Cat will start running daily services with the high speed catamaran Speed Cat 1 from Agios Konstantinos to Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonnisos. Information at Madro travel 24240-22300 and Lemonis travel 24240-22363

From 15/5/2015 until 28/5/2015

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29/5/2015 – 09/07/2015

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10/07//2015-31/08/2015

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1/09/2015-7/09/2015

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Since neither I nor my colleagues have any brilliant ideas for posting today, we’ll stick this photo up. Taken May Day while in mid-worship to Dionysos, we are surprised to note that the horizon is almost horizontal (as was the photographer).

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There is a new law being proposed that will require all transactions of over €70 be handled only with a credit or debit card. The law only affects Aegean islands with populations of over 3,100 residents. In the legislative package is also a bill to increase VAT at hotels to 6% or by 6%. Hotel VAT on the islands is currently 5% and in Athens is 6.5%.

Why only Aegean islands? Why €70? Dunno.

The law is quite obviously designed to increase VAT income that the government desperately needs. So all those chic little stores will no longer be able to say, “The machine is broken, do you have cash?” when customers try to pay by card.

There will be an increase of 6% VAT on clothing shops, footwear, art and jewellery, as well as an added 3% tax in bars, restaurants and nightclubs from April 1 to October 31.

The law is perhaps intended to make the ineffectual but expensive summer visits by teams of three undercover tax inspectors obsolete. People laughed at the idea proposed two months ago by the finance ministry to use tourists as tax inspectors. This is one way they plan to put the idea into action. It will be impossible for shop owners and customers to avoid VAT with credit/debit card payments.

Exactly when the law goes into effect we don’t know. As collecting funds is an emergency, it may already be in effect.

May 1, 2015

May 1, 2015

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The Scramblers walked to Stafilos beach last Sunday, along the old Stafilos road, although it was a bit of a Girls Rule, Boys Drool affair: they did have a boy photographer and the picnic on the beach did attract a male gatecrasher.

Sunday May 3rd
The walk this Sunday starts at the Kastro car park at 10.30am, when the group will head for Glisteri beach. The uphill start of the walk will be the only difficult part and from then on it will be along the flat route looking over Skopelos port and Glyfoneri beach until the downhill path to Glisteri beach.

The highlight for some, as usual, will be the shared picnic on the beach, where there will be transport to take walkers back to the Kastro. There will also be a chance to test the waters, as the forecast is for clear skies and temperatures tipping into the Centigrade twenties.

Phone Muriel Dunlop on 24240 24732 for more information.

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